2023 Top Commercial Development Firms

Find out which firms made CPE’s annual list of industry leaders.

Research Center CPE

You can also read our other Top Development Firms rankings.

* As of June 30, 2023

Key: O=Office; I=Industrial; R=Retail; H=Hospitality; He=Health care; X=Other

Though we make every effort to include all major commercial developers, several notable firms (among them SL Green, Flaherty & Collins Properties and Prologis) did not participate this year.

To be included in upcoming surveys, email Agota Felhazi at [email protected]

Pipelines Shrink, But Some Asset Types Remain Resilient

Image by JARAMA/iStockphoto.com

Image by JARAMA/iStockphoto.com

Commercial development of most asset types has slowed in recent years. For commercial developers, rising interest rates and the growing cost of construction has strained the feasibility of new projects. With no rate relief in sight, commercial development will likely continue to moderate in coming years. Over half of the firms in our 2023 Top Commercial Developers expect to undertake less than or about the same amount of commercial development activity over the next six quarters.

Despite construction activity slowing across the commercial sector, some property types remain relatively popular among developers. For the office sector, falling rents and rising vacancies has been reducing development the past few years. However, new construction of lab space remains strong and demand for this type of office continues to be healthy due to scientific breakthroughs and an aging population. According to a recent Yardi Matrix report, of the office space under construction, 22 percent is buildings primarily designated as life sciences.

Development of industrial properties has also remained resilient in recent years and developers have continued to focus heavily on this property type.  In 2023, the majority of the commercial square footage under construction by our top developers continues to be industrial space. However, while industrial pipelines remain historically large in many markets, they have started to shrink and construction starts have fallen sharply this year, according to Yardi Matrix. This is in response to capital becoming more expensive and the demand from e-commerce returning to more normal levels.

Delivering roughly three times more space than any of the other firms between 2020 and 2022, Trammel Crow Co. leads the 2023 Top Commercial Developers rankings. Trammel Crow also had a significant amount of commercial square footage under construction as of June 2023, primarily made up of industrial, along with a small percentage of office, healthcare and other property types. In addition, Trammel Crow continues to add to their pipeline, beginning construction on the first phase of an approximately one million square foot industrial park in Goodyear, Arizona in October 2023.

—Claire Spodoni, Senior Research Analyst, Yardi Matrix

Methodology

The 2023 CPE Top Commercial Development Firms ranking utilized self-reported data for all companies. Our rankings utilize weighted formulas based on a variety of factors (only a few of which are specified here), including current and future plans, market value of projects completed and under construction, and geographic and property diversification. The ranking represents what we feel is a logical balance between firm growth and market share.

Read the December 2023 issue of CPE.

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